Please pardon my excessive optimism for a moment, but I think there's a pretty good chance that for every troll that wants to be the biggest, most annoying criminal in the game, that there would be a player who wants to be the famous hero who brings him down. There are a lot of gamers that don't want to be the rampaging criminal, and want to be the good guy instead. Personally, whenever I'm given the choice between good and evil in a video game, I always take the good path. I think being evil is usually the cheap way out of situations. I don't find it very fun. I'm sure there are many others out there like me.
No one up here ever says "double double double", they just ask for an extra cup. Actually, most of the time you don't even have to ask.
Obviously not speaking for the majority of horrendous drivers on the roads today, but as an excellent and safe driver, I don't trust anyone or anything other than myself driving my car. No matter how fast a computer works, it has nothing on a human brain in a life-or-death situation. Our brains are much more capable of taking in way more information into consideration than a computer. As a programmer, I just don't trust computers enough to make life-or-death decisions for me. Unintended side-effects, buggy code.. what happens if the computer is damaged in the accident or pre-accident situation, but the car isn't done moving yet? Am I supposed to now rely on damaged equipment to save my life? Seems a little shady to me.
PDG writes "Google has pending plans to take its data centers off-shore, literally. By moving their data centers to floating barges in international waters, they are able to save money on taxes and electricity (using wave based power) as well as reside their operations outside the jurisdiction of governments. There is mention of hurricane and other caveats, but I wonder how they plan to get a bandwidth pipe large enough and still be reliable. Seems like a chapter out of a Neal Stephenson novel." You might recall earlier discussions on the same subject.
Tomahawk writes "It worked! The LHC was turned on this morning and has been shown to have worked. Engineers cheered as the proton particles completed their first circuit of the underground ring which houses the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). (And we're all still alive, too!)" Here is a picture from the control room which I'm sure makes sense to someone that isn't me.
DesScorp writes "The Times reports on the problems of adding wind farms to the power grid. Because of the grid's old design, it can't handle the various spikes that wind farms sometimes have, and there's no efficient way to currently move massive amounts of that power from one section of the country to the other. Further complicating things is the fact that under current laws, power grid regulation is a state matter, and the Federal government has comparatively little authority over it right now. Critics are calling for federal authority over the grid, and massive new construction of 'superhighways' to share the wind power wealth nationally. Quoting the article, 'The dirty secret of clean energy is that while generating it is getting easier, moving it to market is not.'"
An anonymous reader writes to tell us the US Government has issued a strong warning to travelers headed to the Beijing Olympics (PDF) with respect to electronic data. Part FUD, part awareness, the CBS article reads like 1984, urging travelers to treat all electronic devices (from fax to cellphone and back) as compromised, and proceeds to talk about China's aggressive cyber-espionage programs. "China is one of a number of countries pushing active cyber-espionage programs aimed primarily at cracking U.S. national security computers and stealing corporate trade secrets. Billions have already been lost. In addition, cyber-gangs and criminals, many based in Asia, have stolen bank accounts and credit card numbers from an untold number of Americans."
AlexGr writes to tell us that Jeff Gould has a somewhat jaded look at the commercial push of Open Source and what that may be doing to the overall Open Source movement. "I've been a Linux fan for years, but lately I wonder if the drum beating from the big IT vendors in favor of open source hasn't finally slipped over the edge from sincere enthusiasm to meaningless — or in some cases downright hypocritical — sloganeering. The example that brought this gloomy thought to mind was a recent IBM press release touting a 'new open client solution' as an 'alternative to vendor lock-in'. Wow. Imagine that. An alternative to vendor lock-in."
Lisandro writes "German scientists at the University of Ulm have identified a natural ingredient of human blood that prevents the HIV-1 virus from from infecting immune cells and multiplying. The molecule, which they call virus-inhibitory peptide (VIRIP), promises new types of effective treatment for HIV in the future. 'Tweaks to its amino acid components boosted its anti-HIV potency by two orders of magnitude. Tests also showed that some derivatives of the molecule are highly stable in human blood plasma, and non-toxic even at very high concentrations. A synthetic version of VIRIP also proved effective at blocking HIV, excluding the possibility that some other factor was responsible. VIRIP targets a sugar molecule which HIV uses to infect a host cell. '"
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "In a Houston, Texas, case, UMG v. Hightower, the RIAA has served a subpoena on the defendant's son, a high school student, on one day's notice, telling him to be at a lawyer's office at 9:00 a.m. the next day, a school day, for a deposition. The defendant's lawyer objected (PDF)."
Slashdot contributor Bennett Haselton writes in to say "The last few times that I sued a spammer in Washington Small Claims Court, I filed a "booby-trapped" written legal brief with the judge, about four pages long, with the second and third pages stuck together in the middle. I made these by poking through those two pages with a thumbtack, then running a tiny sliver of paper through the holes and gluing it to either page with white-out. The idea was that after the judge made their decision, I could go to the courthouse and look at the file to see if the judge read the brief or not, since if they turned the pages to read it, the tiny sliver of paper would break. To make a long story short, I tried this with 6 different judges, and in 3 out of 6 cases, the judge rejected the motion without reading it." The rest of this bizarre story follows. It's worth the read.
morpheus83 writes "Whilst Microsoft was bragging about the sales number of their latest OS Windows Vista, few would actually know that they have only managed to sell 244 copies in the whole of China in the first 2 weeks. You heard that right, and that's the number quoted from the headquarters of the Windows Vista chief (90% national volume) distributor in Beijing."
eldavojohn writes "Researchers at UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science managed to push our control of frequencies to another level when they hit a submillimeter 324 gigahertz frequency. As any signal geek out there might tell you, this is a non-trivial task. 'With traditional 90-nanometer CMOS circuit approaches, it is virtually impossible to generate usable submillimeter signals with a frequency higher than about 190 GHz. That's because conventional oscillator circuits are nonlinear systems in which increases in frequency are accompanied by a corresponding loss in gain or efficiency and an increase in noise, making them unsuitable for practical applications.' The article also talks about the surprising applications this new technology may evolve into."
An anonymous reader sends us to Boing Boing for a report that "the Director of Communications for the RIAA, Jenni Engebretsen, has been appointed Deputy CEO for Public Affairs for the upcoming Democratic National Convention in Denver." The DNC site has the official press release. Cory Doctorow notes that the RIAA is the most hated "corporation" in America, having beaten out Halliburton and Wal-Mart for the honor, and writes for the DNC's attention, "This represents a potential shear with the left-wing blogosphere."
Jared writes: "New P2P system to be unveiled tomorrow configured to share not only identical files, but also similar ones. Called Similarity-Enhanced Transfer (SET), David G Andersen, assistant professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon, and Michael Kaminsky of Intel Research Pittsburgh, have designed a new P2P protocol they claim could significantly increase download speeds because it is configured to share not only identical files, but also similar ones. The two researchers behind SET, along with graduate student Himabindu Pucha of Purdue University, will present a paper describing SET and release the system code at the 4th Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation, on April 11th in Cambridge, Mass. http://www.zeropaid.com/news/8620/Faster+than+Bit